North WestReview

No Such Thing as A Fish – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matt Forrest

First let me pre-empt this review with a warning to my friends, family and work colleges: I may be slightly unbearable the next time I see you and you’re probably not going to get a word in edgewise. That’s because I’m with armed with more facts and trivia than you can shake a stick at, and the reason being the QI elves are in town with their hugely informative and highly entertaining podcast, No Such Thing as A Fish.

Dan Schreiber, James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Anna Ptaszynskiall work as researchers on the popular BBC 2 panel show QI,and back in 2014 the quartet started their own podcast, which has become a multi-award-winning global smash hit and has spawned numerous books and even a spin-off TV series: No Such Things as the News.

The show this evening is split into two: the second half a live recording of the Podcast, whilst the first half is a cross between an introduction and a stand-up show, to ‘dork out’ to as comedian Schreiber said on his Twitter account. The idea behind the first half is a simple one; they wish to extend the No Such Thing as a Fish brand, although judging by the capacity crowd at the Lowry this evening, they’re doing pretty well so far.

Each member comes up with their own pitch, that includes sending the podcast to the moon, turning the brand into a film, forming a political party and turning their story into a hot hit single. Each member mixes their pitch with the help of comedy, science and a screen for some visual gags. The pitches include the scientific formula for making an Oscar-winning film, and turning the monster hit ear-worm Baby Sharkinto a fact classic. If anything, this part of the show demonstrates just what each member brings to the show, Schreiber is the great frontman, Harkin the most natural performer, Hunter Murray the quick wit and great at thinking on the fly, whilst Ptaszynski has a very dry sense of humour, in many ways the perfect comic.

The second half was the recording of the podcast, which in essence is just four people sat around a table having a chat, but when they are covering topics such as newspapers being sung to the public, pound for pound the Finch having a greater bite than a Tyrannosaur Rex, and the fact that your dog can be expelled from China for being too big, then you know you’re going to be entertained.

This is a fun, informative night out that engages and entertains: nothing flash, or gimmicky; just four likeable and entertaining personalities who are clearly having a ball. Never has learning stuff been so much fun! So now I’m off to the pub to bore/impress my mates with all that I’ve learned, but it won’t be nearly as much as if the No Such Thing as a Fish gang were doing it, and that’s a fact!

Reviewed on 17 March 2019 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John McRoberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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